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Joaquin Castro's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office:

On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House (TX) - District 20

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Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2022.

  • Voted in favor of HR 3755 "Women's Health Protection Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood. (votesmart.org)
  • "This ruling protects millions of Texas women's rights and their access to personal, critical healthcare. Thanks to the Supreme Court's decision, women can receive the care they need in safe facilities with good doctors." (votesmart.org)
  • "Today is a major win for the constitutional right to an abortion. We must continue tearing down barriers for all people to guarantee reproductive freedom in America. #MyRightMyDecision" (twitter.com)
  • "Today, the House has given final approval to an unpopular bill that mostly benefits corporate America and the wealthiest among us, and explodes the deficit by $1.5 trillion. It didn't have to be this way. Republicans could have worked with Democrats to develop tax reform legislation that actually promotes economic and wage growth, protects working families and is fiscally responsible." (votesmart.org)
  • "Americans deserve fiscally responsible tax legislation that protects working families, and encourages economic growth and job creation. Instead, the GOP has crafted a partisan giveaway to the wealthiest among us at the expense of seniors and middle-class families." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 7% by FreedomWorks. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "I joined @OrganizeTexas @RepLloydDoggett to shed light on #Medicaid & #Medicare cuts. #Texas continues to have the highest uninsured rate in the country. Expanding cuts to these programs jeopardizes American lives to provide bigger tax cuts to the wealthy & large corporations." (twitter.com)
  • "As we recognize the anniversary of #Medicaid and #Medicare, #Texas continues to have the highest uninsured rate in the country – nearly double the national rate. We must protect these vital lifelines for seniors, children, and the disabled." (twitter.com)
  • "COVID-19 has burdened everyone, but especially older Americans.I support @RepPeterDeFazio & @RepJohnLarson's bill to increase Social Security benefits during this crisis — and future cost-of-living adjustments should reflect the true costs seniors face." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • "They were fired up about ending #citizensunited in this country. Corporate dark money has no place in our politics. Period." (twitter.com)
  • "Much of the American public believes that the corruption racket in politics revolves around campaign finance. I think more of it revolves around personal corruption, like this example." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 94% by End Citizens United. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "For the People Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • "Body cameras improve public interactions, de-escalate conflicts, and increase trust in law enforcement. Although body cameras are not a cure-all, I welcome this step by @CBP to protect officers and members of the public." (twitter.com)
  • "I support ending qualified immunity." (twitter.com)
  • "Today I reintroduced the PRIDE Act with Sen. @CoryBooker which requires state & local law enforcement to track use of force incidents between civilians and officers, report it @TheJusticeDept and then make it public. We must hold police officers accountable for excessive force." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1280 "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S 1605 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy (votesmart.org)
  • "This year’s defense budget includes a number of important investments to support our servicemembers and their families, advance national security & strengthen defense. I voted for and the House passed #FY22NDAA, which includes a number of bills and provisions I authored." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6395 "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 3684 "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "For years, I’ve worked in Congress to build out America’s Infrastructure of Opportunity — the #BuildBackBetter Act delivers meaningful progress for San Antonio, Texas, and the American people. I hope the Senate acts swiftly and we get this to @POTUS’s desk. Full statement" (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1319 "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 5376 "Build Back Better Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "Today, the House has given final approval to an unpopular bill that mostly benefits corporate America and the wealthiest among us, and explodes the deficit by $1.5 trillion. It didn't have to be this way. Republicans could have worked with Democrats to develop tax reform legislation that actually promotes economic and wage growth, protects working families and is fiscally responsible." (votesmart.org)
  • "President Trump’s deep corporate tax cut was supposed to stop this kind of thing from happening." (twitter.com)
  • Voted against HR 1 "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." (votesmart.org)
  • "In the next Coronavirus relief package that Congress passes, essential workers — first responders, hospital and medical workers, grocery store workers, farm workers, etc., should receive hazard pay from their government or their company." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 748 "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "I am so pleased to announce that due to Congress' work in the CARES Act, San Antonio will receive over $73 million for students and institutions. This funding will help students with their basic essentials so that they can stay in school and finish their degree." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1319 "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • "Just intro'ed the bipartisan Transparency for Transfer Students Act, which guarantees that transfer students don't lose any credits when transferring to a new institution & provides our kids with the tools & clarity they need to make better decisions about their own education." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by the National Education Association (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 4447 "Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019." (votesmart.org)
  • "#EarthDay is a great occasion to celebrate Texas’ renewable energy leadership." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance. (votesmart.org)
  • "Texas energy is more than just oil & gas." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Environment America (votesmart.org)
  • "The U.S. now stands alone as the only country outside the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real and happening all around us. For our kids and our future, it’s time to act, rejoin our allies and friends, and save our planet." (twitter.com)
  • "We know that #climatechange and air pollution disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. As a new @usgcrp report finds the U.S. economy could lose billions of dollars, we know we must do more to #ActOnClimate. #GreenLatinos #ItsTime" (twitter.com)
  • "Silence is not a solution. The American people have had enough. They want Congress to take action on gun violence. #NoBillNoBreak" (twitter.com)
  • "My heart breaks for the victims of today's shooting in Santa Clarita, CA. The scourge of gun violence has hit yet another community and taken too many lives. Our kids and students are living in fear. Teachers are living in fear. Parents are living in fear. #EnoughIsEnough" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1446 "Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • "I just voted against a resolution that begins the process of repealing the #ACA. My statement:" (twitter.com)
  • "The threat of losing #ACA protections is great in Texas, where we have the highest uninsured rate in the country. Americans don’t want to go back to the old system of high out-of-pocket costs. I won’t leave my constituents who rely on the #ACA out to dry. #ProtectOurCare" (twitter.com)
  • "I’m proud to support the #FamilyAct to create a comprehensive and inclusive national paid family and medical leave program. Especially amid COVID, workers must not be forced to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a family member." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 "Families First Coronavirus Response Act." (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • "The border wall is a lazy and ineffective security strategy." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by the Federation for Immigration Reform (votesmart.org)
  • "These costly measures and the administration's insistence on building an ineffective, multi-billion dollar border wall are not efficient uses of our resources." (votesmart.org)
  • "Since the Trump Administration's decision to end DACA, over 10,000 young people have become subject to deportation. It's time for Congress to #ProtectDREAMers and provide a permanent solution by passing the #DREAMAct." (twitter.com)
  • "I stand with Dreamers today and always. #DACA" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by the Federation for Immigration Reform (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 "American Dream and Promise Act of 2021." (votesmart.org)
  • "We must cut off North Korea’s access to resources that support its missile and nuclear programs. I spoke in favor of sanctions legislation:" (twitter.com)
  • "I proudly voted for the Iran nuclear deal. Trump's withdrawal from the agreement was a destabilizing mistake. We must work with our allies to contain Iran's nuclear program by rejoining the deal — nuclear nonproliferation should be a top priority of the next @HouseForeign chair." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy (votesmart.org)
  • "The US and UN just passed new, stronger sanctions against North Korea. We should leverage those sanctions before rushing to "fire and fury."" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy (votesmart.org)
  • "Engaging in military strikes in #Syria—without a broader, comprehensive strategy for U.S. engagement in the Middle East—can further destabilize an already turbulent region. #SyriaStrike" (twitter.com)
  • "Iran's threat to breach uranium stockpiles and the hasty U.S. decision to send an additional 1K troops to the Middle East adds more fuel to an already raging fire. The Trump Administration needs to take a long and hard look at its reckless approach before it is too late." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of H J Res 37 "Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress" (votesmart.org)
  • "Texas exports more than any other state in our nation, and the value of commerce with Mexico and Canada is critical to Texan workers and businesses." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (votesmart.org)
  • "Texas does more trade than any state in the nation. Mexico is our top trading partner. President Trump's announced intent to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports will have severe consequences for Texas consumers and businesses, and will only invite reciprocal tariffs by Mexico, compounding the economic harm." (votesmart.org)
  • Voed in favor of HR 5430 "United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act." (votesmart.org)
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.
h) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.

Greatly Increase a) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increase b) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increase c) Emergency preparedness
Greatly Increase d) Environment
Greatly Increase e) Health care
Greatly Increase f) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase g) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Increase h) Welfare
i) Other or expanded categories
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Status c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decrease e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Sales taxes
Maintain Status g) Vehicle taxes
Undecided i) Should the state sales taxes be extended to Internet sales?
Yes j) Should accounts such as a “rainy day” fund be used to balance the state budget?
Undecided k) Should fee increases be used to balance the state budget?
Texas just increased cigarette taxes by $1.00
The questions above will require different solutions depending on the fiscal outlook.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?

Yes a) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Texas governors?
b) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Texas state senators and representatives?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
No 4) Political Parties
Yes d) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Undecided e) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yes f) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Undecided g) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in Texas are closed?
h) Should Texas recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Undecided i) Should the governor, rather than local authorities, be in charge of ordering emergency evacuations?
j) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Texas.
X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
X e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
X g) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
X i) Require that crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation be prosecuted as hate crimes.
X j) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X k) Increase state funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent or respond to terrorism.
X l) Strengthen sex-offender laws.
X m) Support the restriction of the sale of products used to make methamphetamine (e.g. tablets containing pseudophedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine).
n) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

X a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
X d) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X e) Increase funds for hiring additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
X k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
X l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
X n) Allow undocumented immigrant high school graduates to pay in-state tuition at Texas public universities.
X o) Support Texas' school funding equalization system (share-the-wealth).
q) Other or expanded principles
We need to rely less on property taxes and, once and for all, break the geographic link between collection and distribution of funds. It has led to territorialism.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
X e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in Texas' anti-discrimination laws.
X g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Public employment
Yes b) State college and university admissions
Yes c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

X a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
X b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
X c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
X d) Increase funding for improvements to Texas' power generating and transmission facilities.
X e) Support funding for open space preservation.
f) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

a) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
f) Require a license for gun possession.
g) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.

X a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Texas should continue to use the private contractor Accenture to process Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) applications.
c) Transfer current Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
d) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X e) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Texas.
h) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.

X a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
X b) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
X e) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
f) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
g) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
h) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 75 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

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